Via The Marmot’s Hole, this United States Map of the World gives a face to the astonishing extent of global inequality. With each state matched up with the country that has an equivalent GDP, it also puts a new perspective on familiar issues. For instance, immigration from Latin America, legal or otherwise, is not going away any time soon when Illinois has an economy the same size as all of Mexico. And think about the size of Russia’s decline since the collapse of the USSR. Its economy is the size of New Jersey’s. Iran, meanwhile, matched Alabama.
GDP is by no means the only measure of a country’s or a people’s well-being. France, for instance, would surely have a much larger economy (now equivalent to California), if they didn’t mandate so much vacation time for their workers. But the French are happy with the trade.
Nevertheless, the map is illuminating. Produced by the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto, they’ve also helpfully subtitled it, “Why the ‘bastards’ matter.”